The flu situation continues to escalate in Albania, with the country officially facing an epidemic.

The Institute of Public Health released data showing that 23,000 people are coming down with the illness each week.

Those most vulnerable to the two influenza viruses circulating in our country, types A and B, are persons not yet vaccinated, who suffer from chronic diseases, young children and the elderly.

As if the flu viruses weren't enough to deal with, the measles situation also continues to deteriorate, with an increasing number of affected patients.

There are 80 people with a current and active diagnosis of this infectious disease, mainly children who have not yet reached the age for vaccination.

A few days ago, complications resulting from a combination of bronchitis and measles proved fatal to an 8 month old baby who passed away in the pediatric ward.

Health authorities confirmed they remain vigilant in monitoring the situation.

The Regional Public Health Directorates, who have played a part in ascertaining the breadth of the measles concern, confirm they are quarantining known cases, as well as vaccinating people who have had close contact with patients.

"We are also vaccinating the relatives of patients, where required," said one of the specialists.

Doctors say the only way to be protected from measles is to receive the MMR vaccine, which is due for the first time at age 1, according to the National Schedule.

Meanwhile the Vaccination Committee has ordered that, in the case of an outbreak of an epidemic of any kind, children who are as young as 9 months old must be also be vaccinated.